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  • Rotunda Report
    March 11, 2014

    The Verdict is In: Rhinelander Mock Trial Team Advances to Nationals

    Rhinelander High School Mock Trial Team

    Rhinelander High School Mock Trial Team with the Supreme Court. Front row (from left to right): Erin Tenderholt, Anna Catlin, Amber Sheth, Lydia O’Brien, Albi Sabani, Ellie Rickman. Middle row (from left to right): Emily Ditzler, Mike Anderson, Sydney Schallock. Back row (left to right): David Prosser, Annette Ziegler, Ann Walsh Bradley, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, Patrick Crooks, Patience Roggensack.

    For more photos, visit the State Bar’s Facebook page.

    March 11, 2014 – Rhinelander High School captured its 17th high school mock trial state title yesterday after defeating Shorewood High School in a very close final round judged by six members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The team will now advance to the National High School Mock Trial Tournament, May 8-10 in Madison.

    Rhinelander and Shorewood – who met in the champonship finals for the third time in seven years – were the top two teams to make it out of the 31st Annual Mock Trial Semifinal event held at the Dane County Courthouse on Sunday. Sixteen teams from across the state competed in the semifinals – more than any other year.

    Rhinelander’s team members include Erin Tenderholt, Anna Catlin, Amber Sheth, Lydia O’Brien, Albi Sabani, Ellie Rickman, Emily Ditzler, Mike Anderson and Sydney Schallock. Kathy Vick-Martini is the teacher coach, along with attorney-coaches Jim Jacobi and Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bloom.

    “The word that I got, judge after judge, was that this was an incredible competition,” said State Bar of Wisconsin Public Education Committee Chair Kevin Lonergan. “There were a large number of teams that were very good and very competitive, and judges were saying that they could see certain teams representing Wisconsin at nationals.”

    As is tradition, students, teachers, attorney-coaches and parents met after the semifinal competition to unwind and celebrate a year of hard work during a special awards banquet at the Lowell Center in Madison.

    Lonergan emceed the event and spoke of the high praise that this year’s attorneys and witnesses received from the judging panels. He also reminded the teams that Wisconsin’s mock trial season would be ending later than usual this year with the National Championship running from May 8 to 10.

    “I know we are going to have a team in the mix and I want to see our team win the national competition,” Lonergan said.

    In effect, Wisconsin might have two opportunities to claim the national title this year, as Shorewood will be on deck to step in and compete to even out an odd number of participating teams.

    Katie StenzKatie Stenz is the public affairs coordinator with the State Bar of Wisconsin. She can be reached at, or by phone at (608) 250-6145.

    Lonergan said that all teams can keep the mock trial season going by participating in the national championship and donating their time to the event.

    “The national competition is very time consuming and there are a lot of things that need to be done,” Lonergan said. “We need your donation. We also need hundreds of volunteers.”

    Those interested in making a donation or signing up to volunteer can visit or call State Bar Public Education Manager Katie Wilcox at (608) 250-6191 or

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